The idea of learning through doing is not a new one but it is one that allows space for negotiation, for mistakes, discovery and unexpected learning. It is a form of learning which particularly lends itself to working in the museum setting and working through creative actives. The HOME project, sought to create an environment for a facilitated but self-directed project.
HOME was an exhibition exploring the values of home by 13 women from Limerick city. It was made in collaboration with the artist Róisín de Buitléar, the Traveller Health Advocacy group and the Hunt Museum. The participating women, drawn from three local Traveller communities took part in a six-week glass workshop at the Hunt museum. Using the fragile material of glass to express their ideas of home, the work presents themes of family, faith and current life on a Travellers site in Limerick city.
According to the participants:
'... Its been great to meet Roisin, she really believed that we could produce something beautiful and we have. It’s great to have something exhibited in the museum. It’s an amazing place.' - Bridgie
‘We made this piece so outsiders could see what we’re living in, our conditions, and how small a trailer is’ – Julie
Róisín de Buitléar the artist facilitator spoke about the project and commended the women for being ‘incredibly open, honest and generous’ throughout the project.
Fiona Byrne, Acting Curator of Education and Outreach said:
‘This has been a very special project and the trust built up within the group has allowed the project to have real impact not just on those who took part but on visitors to the museum who have seen the HOME exhibition.’
There has been a great external response to the project and huge interest in touring the exhibition to other locations that phase two of this project is currently being developed. It is hoped that this will include expanding the project to involve men and also developing a wider education programme around the themes raised by the women.